Mangialardo FrontLast year, we tipped you off to Taqueria Nacional, Ann Cashion’s Mexican carryout whose limited hours justify a sick day just to check them out.  This time, we’re here to clue you in to some of the best Italian sandwiches you’ll find inside the District.  You just need to be able to get there by 3 PM on a weekday if you want to try them yourself.

Mangialardo & Sons has been in the sandwich-making business for more than fifty years now.  What started as a typical Italian general store (picture A. Litteri with less floor space) has since edited its offerings significantly.  There are a few products for sale on the shelves that line the walls, but Mangialardo’s is now a sub shop, first and foremost. 

Walk in and take a deep breath – if you’re lucky, you’ll catch a whiff of the marinara sauce they use for the meatball and pizza sandwiches.  Head over to the coolers that line the right-hand wall – in among the sodas and other beverages you’ll see classic sides like macaroni salad and cole slaw as well as some more authentically Italian offerings like olives and stuffed peppers.

But enough dawdling – you’ve come for the sandwiches, piled high with cold cuts and bearing names like the “G-Man” and the “Super Sub.”  The names may be unique to Mangialardo’s, but the flavors are the ones you’ve come to expect in classic Italian deli sandwiches up and down the East Coast. 

So what makes them worth a special trip?  Find out after the jump. (more…)

Cornercopia FrontYesterday, Metrocurean raised the question of whether Washington’s options are improving when it comes to niche markets that operate in the middle ground between corner markets and gourmet shops.  She focused on newcomer Aroma Bakery and Market in her neighborhood and mentioned two others, Timor Bodega and Cornercopia. 

As luck would have it, we’ve been checking out Cornercopia since it opened a few weeks ago.  We’ve tried several of their made-to-order sandwiches, and we’ve followed owner Albert Oh on Twitter.  What we’ve seen so far is definitely promising.

Dupont SandwichFor lunch-goers, Cornercopia offers six different sandwiches made from Boar’s Head meats and served on breads from Firehook Bakery specifically selected by Oh to complement the flavors of the fillings.  They also make fresh salads daily, and they received no small amount of attention when they announced that they would be carrying sushi from H Street’s Sticky Rice.  When word gets out on Capitol Hill, expect lines of staffers hungry for something new for lunch.

Details on the current sandwich offerings, the market’s stock and a great selection of beverages after the jump. (more…)

Pork producers lobby to relabel Swine Flu. The H1N1 virus does sound scarier. I also like it’s-just-the-flu-people-why-is-everyone-freaking-out-lets-get-a-grip-already virus (IJTFPWIEFOLGAGA virus, for short).  Rest assured, the swine flu does not impact the safety of consuming pork

Not convinced? Check out this recipe for seafood sausage with red pepper mayonnaise.

DealingInSubterfuge gives us an ode to bacon jelly beans.

Alex of Brightest Young Things was on hand at Rock N Roll Hotel’s chicken wing eating and judging contest
Prepare for summer with a kaffir lime cordial by the Traveler’s Lunchbox. 
Ladies and gentlemen: DC’s most exclusive dinner. Take that, Minibar.
IHOP may be coming to Columbia Heights. suggests Zaytinya chef Mike Isabella will be on the next season of Top Chef.  
Get a taste of authentic foods at the Embassy open houses this weekend. 

Getting on Subway’s $5 bandwagon, TGI Fridays will offer full sized meals for $5 in May.  The chain hasn’t had prices this low on the menu since it opened in 1965. 
Modern Domestic wonders what Julia Child would tweet?  WWJCT?
Looking for a twist on the original mint julep? Take your drink further South with the Creole Julep, made with Cruzan Single Barrel Estate Rum, Captain Morgan 100, Clement Creole Shrubb, peach bitters and fresh mint.   
Prosecco is rising in popularity, despite Paris Hilton’s best efforts
Thinking ahead to brunch with mom for Mother’s Day? Washingtonian has a cheat sheet
Ed Hardy, the tattoo-themed clothing brand, has launched a line of wine.

Want to take advantage of the farmers market bounty? Foodie Tots shares a great looking recipe for ramp crepes while Pithy and Cleaver share a recipe for asparagus soup
If you’re feeling especially ambitious this weekend, Desert Candy has the scoop on homemade hamburger buns  
Chef Jose Andres cooks up a  simple, cheap meal of chickpea and spinach stew in DC Central Kitchen.   
Travel and Leisure’s 50 Best New Restaurants including DC’s Founding Famers.  Jose Andres’ Bazaar in LA gets a shout out, too.    
What would Ruth Reichl eat?

High end concept restaurants in Manhattan are forging ahead, economy be damned
Heading to LA soon? Here are some notable restaurants
Ogle a scanned sandwich and get make-at-home sandwich tips from Tom Colicchio here.  
A new study hypothesizes that a menu featuring healthy options like salads often encourages diners to ultimately order the least healthy item on the menu. 


*Hat tip to Gawker for the Aporkalypse nickname.

sisters_tinyWith the opening of the combination Heidi’s Brooklyn Deli / Sisters Pizza & Mussels this week, ATF headquarters may very well secure the title of Best On-Site Dining Options for a federal office building in the District.  The sandwich shop and pizza place join an already-open Five Guys and a Pound Coffee, giving the folks at Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms easy access to Burgers Pizza and Coffee at lunchtime.

If you haven’t seen the changes around the New York Avenue Metro stop lately (and I’m pretty sure most of you haven’t…it’s not that heavily trafficked), you’d barely recognize the place.  Look beyond the construction – the site of a new Courtyard by Marriott – and you find yourself face to face with the most traditional office-building facade of the new ATF headquarters.  A quick walk along 2nd Street toward Florida Avenue takes you past the new establishments, then Pound, and finally Five Guys on the corner.

I couldn’t help but be amused by the signs identifying this as government property and prohibiting smoking within 50 feet of the building…despite this being the home of the folks who regulate tobacco.

Perhaps the most important news for those of us in the neighborhood, Heidi’s and Sisters also deliver!

A look at their menus – and the details on delivery – after the jump. (more…)

taylor-signWhen we took our first look at Taylor, back when they were in the final stages of getting ready to open, it was already pretty clear that the new gourmet deli and market was going to be a hit.  Between their commitment to authenticity and the lack of nearby competitors, however, Taylor has gotten off to an even better start than owners David Mazza and Casey Patten had hoped.

But how is the food, really?  Do they deliver on the promise of Philadelphia style and top-shelf ingredients, or are they benefiting from a relatively low bar when it comes to food offerings on H Street?

9th-streetNot to worry – Taylor comes through with flying colors (red, white and green, of course).  The 9th Street, their version of the classic Italian sub, packs in the flavor without overloading the Sarcone’s roll.  Their arancini, known here as “Rocky’s Risotto Balls,” are crisp and gooey at the same.  Even their salad offerings – so often relegated to afterthough status – rise to the occasion.  I may be a sucker for a good sandwich (and therefore an easy sell), but this place is earning its fan base.

Some more mouth-watering food photos and descriptions after the jump. (more…)

thirsty-bernie-exterior<<EDIT, 12/8 @ 3:30 PM:  On Friday, several sources reported that Chef Jamie Stachowski’s with Thirsty Bernie was not renewed when it expired on November 30th.  Even more disturbing, Washingtonian’s Best Bites blog quotes Stachowski as saying that owner Steve Sadeghian is planning to focus on “convenience cooking” and will be buying much of his food pre-made. 

Sounds like the things that made Thirsty Bernie stand out among sports bars is now gone, so please do not consider this review reflective of the current restaurant when deciding whether or not to visit.>>

Sports bar.  Strip mall.  Northern Virginia.  Sounds awesome, right?  Generally speaking, this is not a combination that screams “destination dining.”  But if you haven’t heard by now, Thirsty Bernie is no run-of-the-mill sports bar.  It’s a showcase for a chef who made a name for himself downtown and who now has carte blanche to indulge his creativity in an unlikely venue.

I never did make it to Restaurant Kolumbia, so I can’t wax rhapsodic about the way Chef Jamie Stachowski used to impress upscale diners with his charcuterie and his novel takes on classics.  Having experienced Thirsty Bernie with my father recently, however, I can definitely see what everyone is talking about. 

This is a place that takes meat, beer and sports seriously.  And since there are very few places that simultaneously do all three well, it warrants a visit from even the most NoVAphobic Washingtonian.

So what the heck is a ‘weck?  Find out after the jump. (more…)

taylor-signJust a quick note to let you know that I’ve heard from Casey and he will be opening tonight at 5 PM.  Though he originally wanted to be open for lunch today, the timing just worked out better for an evening opening.

FrozenTropics has an image of the full menu here, and Brightest Young Things has an interview with Casey that just went up yesterday.

The line for a Race Street forms right behind me.  See you there!